Listeria monocytogenes is an uncommon cause of bacterial meningitis beyond the neonatal period. Patients with immunosuppression or neoplastic disease are at increased risk of developing serious invasive disease, particularly meningitis. L. monocytogenes meningitis in two previously healthy, immunocompetent children aged 7 years and 18 months is described. One of them was successfully treated with ampicillin and amikacin. In the other there was resistance to ampicillin, and meropenem, vancomycin and amikacin were given. One patient developed unilateral abducens paralysis and inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. L. monocytogenes should be suspected in children with bacterial meningitis who fail to respond to empirical antibiotic therapy.
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